• commends INEC, security agents
From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Group, Unified Nigerian Youth Forum (UNYF) on Monday accused Yiaga Africa of being partisan in the just concluded off-cycle polls in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi States.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the group noted that Yiaga’s report on the election in Imo State did not sit well with it, accusing Yiaga leadership of speaking for the Labour Party (LP).
President of the Forum, Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem addressed newsmen alongside other executive members of the forum described Imo election as free, fair, and credible.
“As our custom, we sent observers to the three states to monitor the conduct of the elections. Our interest remained on how to deepen our democracy with results made available to us. As a non-governmental organisation, we are not partisan and therefore have no affiliation with any of the political parties.
“This morning, Monday, November 13, reports from our field officers indicated that the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi experienced pockets of violence but not to the point of impugning the integrity of the results because the security agencies and other institutions involved in the conduct of the election did their very best to ensure that the wishes of the people reflected in the results.
“However that of Imo was completely different as the election was free, fair, and credible. This is not to say that there was no untoward incident in isolated areas. Some vote buyers were arrested as already reported by the media and some people who wanted to disrupt the collation of state results were forcibly removed from the hall.
“By and large, the election was held in all the 27 local government areas of the state. Where there was voter apathy like in the metropolis where people were angry over power cuts by NLC, the results reflected as such.
“We are therefore surprised that Yiaga Africa is turning in a completely different account of what happened in Imo state. Some of us are not surprised anyway because we know the antecedent of the group in question.
“If Nigerians can recollect Yiaga Africa’s report during the general elections was against the Victory of APC and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“In the same vein, its support also went for the candidate of a particular Political Party and its candidate in Imo state, So they wrote a report to suit the whims of the said party and their co-travelers
“It is instructive that all the demands of one of the losers are what the Yiaga Africa is parroting. That means that their positions are the same. Yiaga Africa is not only partisan but their opinion is tainted with bias fuelled by political considerations”, the group said.
The group however commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agents for holding a “peaceful, free, fair, and credible” election in Imo state and ensuring that voters came out freely to cast their ballots for the candidates of their choice.